A second U.S. federal judge suspended an executive order from the Trump administration that threatened to ban TikTok in the United States.
The preliminary injunction granted Monday night by Judge Carl Nichols in district court in Washington DC comes more than a month after a similar decision in Pennsylvania.
Nichols said that TikTok’s attorneys had shown that the Commerce Department likely exceeded its authority in trying to ban the popular social media app and “acted arbitrarily and capriciously by not considering obvious alternatives.”
The White House claims that TikTok is a national security risk due to possible links to the Beijing government through its Chinese owner ByteDance.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on August 6 that gives Americans 45 days to stop doing business with ByteDance, effectively setting a deadline for the sale of the app to an American company.
Trump’s order said the action was necessary to “protect our national security” and stated that Beijing could use the personal data of TikTok users.
TikTok has repeatedly defended itself against accusations of data transfers to the Chinese government, saying that it stores user information on servers in the United States and Singapore.
The latest order follows an Oct. 30 ruling by a Pennsylvania federal court that issued a temporary injunction blocking Trump’s ban.
Following a complaint from three TikTok content creators, Judge Wendy Beetlestone ordered the US administration not to prevent other companies from providing essential services to the platform, such as online hosting.
Beetlestone had considered that the presidential decree of August 6 should be suspended.
In late September, Judge Nichols had also issued a temporary injunction preventing the US from banning downloads of the app, which he said would cause “irreparable harm” to TikTok, but declined to rule on its outright ban. in the U.S.
TikTok has one more fight on its hands over an Aug. 14 executive order from Trump to force ByteDance to sell its US operations to a US buyer.
The US Treasury has repeatedly extended the deadline for the Chinese group to divest and indicated on Friday that it would continue negotiations to resolve the dispute.
TikTok has 100 million users in the United States and 700 million worldwide.
Washington is in a tense trade battle with Beijing, and the Trump administration has stepped up warnings about China’s growing economic and military power.